Young directors focus on Chinese families

Lu Feiran
Amateur directors from around the world are to shoot a series of documentaries in Shanghai that will focus on the themes of "family, homeland and nation."
Lu Feiran

A group of young people from around the world are soon to start shooting a series of documentaries focused on “family, homeland and nation” in Shanghai.

Part of the “Looking China: Youth Film Project,” the foreign directors, from eight countries including South Korea, the UK, Botswana and Mexico, will explore familial culture in various different groups, such as seniors suffering from dementia, parents of children with autism, a family that has been making qipao for five generations and experts in finding long-lost family members.

One of the participants, Kristina Grigoryan from Turkmenistan, who is studying filmmaking at Shanghai University, said China shares similar familial values with her homeland, so she is looking forward to exploring local communities to see what can inspire her.

“I have been in China for eight years and it is my second home,” Grigoryan said. “I believe that exploring Shanghai from the prospective of an expat will be a precious experience for me.”

Executive producer Odet Abadia Gomez, from Spain, will be an instructor to the amateur directors. This is the second time she has taken part in the “Looking China” program.

“I believe the program is a great opportunity for cross-cultural communication that would benefit everyone for a long time,” she said.

Two schools with Shanghai University — Shanghai Vancouver Film School and School of Journalism and Communication — will give full support to the amateur filmmakers in terms of topic selection, shooting, screening and promotion. 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the “Looking China” program, which is sponsored by Huilin Foundation of Beijing Normal University and Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture. Over the past decade, more than 735 young amateur directors from 83 countries and regions have presented more than 700 short movies focused on various aspects of China. 

Last year’s theme was “agriculture and farmers.”

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